Scottish Government consultation on electoral reform

(trying to force this to appear on Twitter)

@scotgov consultation on #electoralreform: Have your say before 29 March!


What has Bruce been up to recently?

  • recovering from encountering a tram track on his bike during the beast from the east
  • supervising an MSc student
  • usual community council website and minuting duties, along with work on a CC newsletter, reacting to comments on Facebook and sorting an issue over phone numbers
  • reaction to familial issues – the latest is my sister has been called for jury service, for which she is not suited
  • until this week, doing some web-searching for CCER colleagues. (It’s paused while they consider my results so far.)
  • doing odds and sods to help colleagues organise a phD colloquium
  • doing a lot of work on an application for funding some research into participatory budgeting. Deadline is Thursday – eek! (I have almost no more time for it because I’m on a research skills course tomorrow (er, today), Wednesday and Thursday.)
  • because of that,
    • doing very little writing about my own research int he last two weeks
    • doing even less teach-myself-Python

Tomorrow will be mostly taken up by the course, then being interviewed by a student from Liverpool University about my community council/public engagement/community activities.

Also, I will be working on an application for funding some public engagement research – not with community councils this time. If we get this funding, I will encounter a lot of talented and interesting people from a research and professional area that is pretty new to me. Finally, I will review my MSc student’s latest work.

Anti-social not-worker

I do not use Facebook messenger. I refuse to have this on my phone, and generally ignore the the messaging bit of Facebook in browsers. It may not be logical but I resent being forced to have another app on my phone. Maybe I’m just getting old. If you want to contact me, in my order of preference

  1. talk to me, face to face (vastly preferred). You’ll generally find me in room C45 at Napier’s Merchiston Campus, at home, at LifesCycle, at a community council meeting or cycling between two of these destinations
  2. email me (strongly preferred)
  3. comment on one of my WordPress blogs – so it will email me a notification
  4. phone me
  5. text me
  6. tweet me (last resort)

But please bear in mind that my phone is quite often on silent, and I’ve switched off every alert apart from for incoming calls. And don’t even mention Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, the social part of Mendeley and similar, LinkedIn, ORCID, or any other social media.

Facebook does have a place in my life: the privilege of seeing what far-flung friends and family choose to share. But I’m old, and I’ll pick how I communicate. Facebook messages are not my choice.

Double (DVI) Vision

Until this morning, my main Mac sported a 1600 * 1200 Formac DVI monitor and a 1280 * 1024 HP VGA monitor. (This monitor can also do DVI.) The Formac’s been great – it’s survived several house moves over almost 10 years, and seems as bright as ever.

The HP is a relative newcomer, and I’ve never been entirely happy about the step from the Formac to it. But the ever-wonderful Elly treated me to another Formac for my birthday. It arrived this morning, so we now have:

left: ‘new’ Formac (play);       middle: original Formac (work);      right: HP (other)

The HP monitor is now attached to my Hackintosh. Weirdly, it’s reporting as 1600 * 1200, which shouldn’t be possible.


In a vague tribute to a Janis Joplin album, today could be called I got dem ol’ co-codamol hughies again, mama! In other news, last week I succeeded in copying posts from Just another bipedal sack of DNA and neuroses – because that’s what humans are to this blog.

It’s been interesting – and quite emotional – revisiting the end of a marriage and my career in publishing, various family (mis)fortunes, my time in India and Indonesia, my MSc, the start of my community council work and research career, discovering spinning, and the beginning of my current, very happy marriage. So much of this feels as though it’s permanent, and has been part of me forever – but in reality much is less than 5 years old.

There will be lots of broken links, because some material was hosted on now-dead servers. I’ve tried to resurrect what I can, but if you find any, please let me know.

DREaM on!

In 2015, I enjoyed working with Professor Hazel Hall on an assessment of the lasting effects of the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project. Hazel’s posts about this project are here.

A paper written by Hazel, Peter Cruickshank and me, addressing the question of network sustainability within a community of library and information science (LIS) researchers and practitioner researchers has now been accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation. Please read more about it in Hazel’s blog post, or, if you would like to learn more about the results of this study, please email Hazel at:

Action for Children @ByteNight

I’m a lucky, lucky bugger. I have a wonderful fiancée, great friends and colleagues, I live in a warm, dry place and have a fun job. I’m male and white, in a sexist, racist world. I have access to good healthcare, and pay almost nothing directly for the medicines I need. Chances are that most folk who read this blog share a lot of the same luck.

But I’ve always known that many people don’t have anything like so much luck, so when a good, slightly mad chance is thrown my way to do something for others, I’m happy to take it on.

So this Friday evening, I will be joining my colleagues Sally Smith – Edinburgh Napier University, Ben Paechter, Adrian Smales and others at Byte Night 2017, an IT sector initiative to raise both money and awareness of disadvantaged and homeless children with the Action for Children charity. You can read more about Action for Children here: reading

Memories of ECIL 2017

Disclaimer: this is my personal blog. It’s my digital stream of (un)consciousness, my on-line wearing of mountain-bike shoes with rainbow laces, lycra, colourful buffs (headscarfs) and whatever else I like, where I can be the aging and raging hippie that I really am, and where my vegan cyclopath tendency raises bidigital salutes to the nonsense that today’s world imposes on the vast majority.

OK, with that out of the way (along with admitting that I wear buffs and rainbow laces almost all the time), here’s my patchwork-zeitgeist of ECIL 2017. Patches are in roughly chronological order, and some are about specific individuals. You know who you are! Continue reading